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Maritime Deaths Down For The Year

MEDIA RELEASE Date: 8 November 2001

Maritime Deaths Down For The Year

The Maritime Safety Authority reports there have been 22 maritime fatalities in the ten months to 31 October this year, down from 28 at the same time last year.

Within that total, there has been a reduction in the recreational boating toll, with 15 people having died, six fewer than in 2000. However, as summer rapidly approaches, boaties around the country are preparing to get out on the water.

“Education is the key to improving safety awareness and the MSA’s Summer Safety Campaign is focussed on making the skipper of the boat think more about safety, both for himself and for others on his boat,” says Russell Kilvington, Director of Maritime Safety.

“Fewer deaths in the recreational boating sector is good news, but numbers don’t count for the families and friends of those who have lost their lives at sea. Knowing what you are doing, being prepared with appropriate emergency equipment and carrying enough life jackets for all those on board can be the difference between life and death.”

A number of deaths this year have involved boaties trying to swim ashore after an accident, often because they did not carry adequate communication equipment and were unable to signal their distress.

The coming quarter is traditionally a bad one for recreational boating fatalities, as the weather is generally warmer but sea conditions remain unpredictable. The MSA recommends as well as completing maintenance on the boat, the skipper should double check safety and emergency equipment after a winter of storage.

There have been seven fatalities in the commercial maritime sector so far this year, which is the same number as this time last year. Fatalities on commercial fishing vessels continue to drop in number, which is encouraging for what has been identified as a dangerous occupation group. No deaths were reported in the quarter from July to the end of September 2001.


ENDS

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